I feel like I have let go of my writing fears after watching Coach Cal’s inspiring ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, but just to make doubly sure that I am over them, I am going to write what they were here, release it into the void of Dark Google (because this blog wouldn’t be found by any other search engine) and be done with it forever. (Or at least this July.) And actually, my “fears” can be whittled down to one statement.
I am afraid of commitment.
Wow, a millennial afraid of commitment? What else is new? // heavy sarcasm
I am afraid of “commitment” because I am afraid of creating this beautiful image in my head and then failing to capture it in words on the page, or even worse, capturing this “beautiful” image but after it’s on the page, it actually turned out to be “dumb” or “lame.” Once I figured this out, I stopped outlining (also after reading this post by one of my long time idols who I recently rediscovered/remembered randomly and actually had a little bit of difficulty finding her blog again. In fact, the whole tag is probably good and important, even if it just says similar things over and over. They are important things to me, and basically what I believe and live by now.) I guess I for sure definitely stopped outlining after my writing professor said it was bad, too. Maybe that’s when I re-stopped outlining, because in that era of my life when I had that professor, I probably hadn’t remembered that blog for 2-4 years. And even if I “don’t outline” my novels now, I ended up outlining this other short(er) story I wrote for a TV I liked, and it was such an amazing idea, but it was such an amazing idea that I was afraid to write it, and ashamed to write it poorly. Which of course is pretty stupid, because I had the idea anyway, so I might as well write it, right? No one else is going to write it (unless I tell someone the idea, or unless they independently had the idea also.) But think about fanfiction. In a way, everyone is writing the same story over and over (at least the romantic fanfictions.) But a lot of people still read a lot of fanfiction because it’s good and they like it. So everyone’s writing matters. I should let myself believe that my writing matters.
Not outlining also lets me write whatever I want and it can’t be bad because anything is better than nothing, so whatever I write is automatically “good.” Because there was nothing to compare it to anyway, so it can be good enough if I say it is (and I should be nice to myself and let myself say it’s good enough.)
And the amazing thing about Camp NaNo is it doesn’t have to be hard in the way that revising is hard. Because, as I learned this year, revising can be so hard. 2017 really was the year I learned to revise, or at least started revising “for real.” As in overhauling a story and not just making line edits. I guess I did a little revising in my past but it didn’t feel this intense with multiple revisions.
And honestly, commitment to myself is something I have to learn in my outside-of-writing-life (haha…) as well. So, I might as well start by committing to my writing since my writing life is my life.
And what is commitment, anyway? Writing a page every day? It doesn’t even have to be related to anything. If I wanted to this NaNo, I could write one page from each of the characters perspectives and just keep alternating and no one would know any differently whether or not it was what I set out do to. And the thing about not outlining is whatever you end up doing is what you set out do because all you set out to do was write something. Amazing, right?
Basically, I have nothing to be afraid of this July. I love writing. I would write no matter what anyway. But now, all I am asking of myself is to be all in. Not be afraid of my dream. And make the dream a reality.